Thursday, April 30, 2009

Florida trip - Day 4

We started the morning with a light breakfast at the hotel and then headed to Sea World. In all the times I’ve been to Disney and to Florida, I have never been to Sea World. It was so much fun to share it with my mom and have it be the first time that both of us went.

When we arrived, we headed straight for the Shamu show Believe. We sat in what was called the “Soak Zone”. I thought that it wasn’t meant to be taken literally and more of a little warning. They weren’t kidding…at all! We were completely drenched when we left, but it was worth it. The show was incredible and it amazes what these animals are capable of learning. They share a bond with their trainers and it shows. The trainers rode the killer whales, surfed on them and had them do some fun tricks. I loved seeing the show.

After the show, we walked around exploring and then checked out the Wild Artic exhibit. First there was a ride simulator that made you feel like you were on a helicopter and it was fun. My mom said there was no way she was getting on any rides because that isn’t her thing. I convinced her to go on it and she loved it. After the ride, they had areas that you could walk through to see the animals. We saw a giant polar bear, beluga whales and giant walruses. The polar bear was so funny. He was playing this with giant plastic toy like a dog would play with a toy. I know they’re dangerous, but they’re so cute.

We then did some more walking around and checking out the exhibits. We saw the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale Horses. You could tell that they were well cared for and were so beautiful. We went to see the sharks and it was so exciting being in the underwater tunnel. I have always wanted to go through it and never knew that it’s the biggest in the world. I remember it from one of the Jaws movies when I was little.
After the shark exhibit, we went to see the Clyde & Seamore show. They were the cutest sea lions and so smart. They put on an entire pirate themed show and it was so adorable. I think the people that work with these animals are so lucky. I am sure that the job has its’ challenges, but it must be so rewarding.

We went and saw the penguins and turtles and then I went on some rides. First, I went on the Journey to Atlantis and it was a blast. I was placed with another single rider in the front of the “boat”. This ride reminded me of Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom. The hill was very steep and I got soaked. After that, I went right on the Kraken roller coaster and it was also a lot of fun. It was nice being able to mix some rides in with seeing all of the animals. Overall, we had a wonderful day at Sea World.

Day 5 was a travel day and there is nothing exciting to report. We got home safe last night and had a great time on our trip. It was really fun getting to go away with my mom and spend time together. She never treats herself to vacations or anything extravagant. I knew that this would mean a lot and that is why hubby and I did this for her. My mother is very important to me and always looks out for me. It was time to do something extra special for her. I think this trip was just what she needed and it was great for me to get away and relax too!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Florida trip - Day 3

My mom and I got up very early to get to Discovery Cove by 8:30am. We got there, checked in, had a light breakfast and then got settled in. This place is so beautiful and clean. I was pleasantly surprised. I read many reviews on trip advisor and got some great recommendations. I was very confident in my decision to take my mom there.

The first thing we did was go to the bird aviary. There were many different types of birds flying around and they also had a baby deer that roams around. We caught a glimpse of the little deer eating, but it was hidden behind some trees. The birds are so pretty and very tame. They give you a little cup of food and the birds will land on your hand and eat right out of the feeding cup. At one point I had 3 little pink and gray birdies on my hand eating. They were so precious.

After the aviary, we went into the lagoon and lazy river. This was built this to seem very natural. It reminded me of the caves that hubby and I swam through on our honeymoon when we went to Xcaret. Unlike Xcaret, the water was a warm 85 degrees and felt so refreshing at Discovery Cove. The caves in Mexico were 65-70 degrees…brrrrr! After the lagoon and lazy river, we went into the Stingray shallows and got to pet some rays. My mom was super scared, but I talked her into it. I forgot how velvety they felt. Years ago I went on a cruise and one of our stops was in the Cayman Islands. We went to Stingray City and it was an experience that I’ll never forget.

After we checked out the Stingrays, we went to snorkel around the tropical reef. The water was salty and chilly, but there were a ton of different fish and Stingrays. I have seriously never seen a bigger Stingray in my life. I saw several that had a wing span bigger than most adults. They were enormous and quite intimidating. They didn’t bother anyone though. Around the reef, they had what looks like a shipwreck and behind the glass around the ship there are sharks that are sectioned off from the reef. It was fun because it makes you feel like you’re swimming with them even though they’re on the other side.

After snorkeling, it was time to go swimming with the dolphins. This was my third time and my mom’s first. The whole reason we got her this trip to Florida was to do this. She has always loved dolphins and always wanted to do this. We were with a group of 7 (including us), worked with 2 trainers and an adorable 17-year old dolphin named, “CJ”. He was unique because he is half Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and half common dolphin. It was cute, because he had different characteristics from his mother and father, just like a person.

During our dolphin swim, we were able to touch, kiss, feed and do hand gestures to make “CJ” do different tricks for us. Towards the end of the swim, we were able to take a ride on him. It was a ton of fun! I wish I could have done this all day.

After our dolphin swim, we went to grab lunch and it was really good. The wonderful thing about Discovery Cove is that you don’t have to worry about anything. All of your food, snacks, drinks, towels, snorkel and sunscreen are covered. We really didn’t need anything. Everything was so clean and you can tell they really do a lot to keep the park nice.

Once we were done with lunch, we went back to the lagoon, lazy river and tropical reef for some more swimming. We finally finished around 4:00pm and called it a day. It was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend this to anyone considering it.

After Discovery Cove, we went to Houlihan’s for dinner, then came back to our hotel and relaxed.

I apologize for my lack of comments. I should be back to normal by tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Florida trip - Day 2

All ready for shopping!

We got up and had a light breakfast at the hotel and then went to the outlets! I love outlet shopping. It is sort of like an adventure and you never know what deals you will find. There are so many different outlets in Florida that it’s hard to choose which one to go to. We ended up going to the Orlando Premium Outlets. They have over 150 stores and it is a little overwhelming.

I got hubby that t-shirt from Polo, the sea horse and sand dollar necklaces at J.Crew, the tote at Coach and the bracelet, pouch and flip flops from J.Crew.

I got some cute tops from Banana Republic and J.Crew also!

After shopping, my mom wanted to check out a buffet for lunch. We went to the Golden Corral and it was disgusting. I don’t know why people think they can serve slop and call it a meal. I picked at a few things but pretty much ate bread. After lunch, we came back to the hotel and I swore I was going to nap for an hour but ended up taking another long 3+ hour nap. There is nothing like being on vacation and sleeping half of it away. I guess my body was trying to tell me something.

After my long nap, we decided to go down to the pool, but it was like an ice cube. Hubby told me that it was 93 degrees at home. It only reached 83 in FL…pretty unbelievable. We went to dinner at Don Pablo’s and it was yummy. I know it’s a silly chain Mexican restaurant, but I love it. We came back to the hotel after dinner and relaxed since we knew we had a long day ahead of us tomorrow.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Florida trip - Day 1

We got up at 4:30am (why did I book such an early flight again?) and got to the airport for our 7:10am flight. We got to Florida around 9:30am, got our rent-a-car and then headed to the hotel. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and it was good. I love browsing around in the little country store that they have. They always have the cutest things.

After breakfast we drove around and got familiar with the area. There is so much to do in Orlando, but I don’t think I could live here. There are too many tourists and people drive like maniacs (hubby used to live down here and has said that the two main reasons he left were the heat and tourists).

We came to our hotel, got settled in and my mom and I we’re both beat so we took a nap. Let’s just say I didn’t wake up until 8:00pm that night. I was so mad at myself because I knew I’d had trouble sleeping later on. We went to T.G.I.Friday’s for dinner and it was decent. It seems there really isn’t anything but a bunch of chain restaurants down here. I guess it makes sense since it’s such a tourist destination.

After dinner, we came back to the hotel, relaxed and stayed up late watching TV.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A few things

1. A huge thank you goes out to Gwen at Confessions of a Control Freak. I signed up for her snail mail (because I adore her) and she sent me the sweetest card as well as a beautiful cosmetic bag in my favorite colors of pink and green. She even had my name embroidered on it! I love anything customized. This was a very sweet gesture and I appreciate it so much. Gwen – I will be sending you something soon! I encourage others to do this type of thing too. It’s not about getting something, but it really does brighten your day when you check the mailbox and there is something other than bills and junk mail waiting for you. Even if you just send a little note, it can really make someone’s day. I don’t know about you, but I am all about making people smile.

2. Tomorrow I am off to sunny Orlando with my mom. Geof and I bought her this trip for Christmas and it’s finally here. She has always wanted to swim with the dolphins, so that is just what I’m taking her to do. We’re going to Discovery Cove and are so excited. Geof gets to stay home with the dogs (our dogs + my moms dog = chaos).

Hubby and I on our honeymoon

Geof is on dog duty with Happy, Mandy & Chase!

3. Grey’s Anatomy – what a tear jerker last night. I don’t want to spoil anything in case people haven’t seen it yet, but I was a crying mess. I must say that they’ve stepped it up this season.

I hope everyone has a happy Friday and a great weekend. I will probably check here and there from vacation, because I can’t stay away for too long!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time for an award from a real “sweet-tea”

The fun and wonderful Angela over at Sweet Tea Diaries presented me with the Neno’s Award. Thank you very much! Angela is someone who I know I could be great friends with if we didn’t live on opposite coasts. Her birthday is almost here, so go on over and wish her a happy day!

The goals of this award are: 1)As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging. 2)To seek the reasons why we all love blogging. 3)Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it. 4)Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award. 5)Answer the awards question by writing the reason why you love blogging. 6)Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like. 7)Don't forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

The reason I love blogging is the exact reason this award states, “to encourage friendships”. I started this blog thinking that it would be more like an online diary and didn’t know much about it. I never expected people to actually read it. You have no idea how happy it makes me to read your comments and see how supportive everyone in the blog community is of one another. I love all of the ladies I’ve “met” and truly enjoy reading about everyone’s daily journey through life.
I am passing this award onto some ladies that truly deserve this award:

Jill at Peeptoe Pumps and Pearls
Tasha at Biology Gal
Lis at Lis Loves
Andrea at My Chihuahua Bites

P.S. I also wanted to thank The Pink Polka Dot for the Friendship award! Thank you so much :)

P.S.S. 2 days until I leave for Florida! I cannot wait.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame

Last night Geof and I went to see Philadelphia Phillies take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. The stadium opened about 5 years ago and already holds many special memories for me. It’s the place where Geof and I went on our first official date, the home of the 2008 World Series Champions and a place where I have shared great times with friends and family. Baseball is my favorite sport to watch and it all started when my dad and I used to watch games together when I was little. We would either watch the Phillies or the Orioles (he lived in Maryland) and I have loved baseball ever since.

When we got to the park last night, there was a huge memorial outside dedicated to the memory of Harry Kalas who recently passed away. He was the voice of the Phillies for over 30 years and will be sorely missed. To see the support of the fans was a wonderful feeling and may he rest in peace.

Memorial for Harry Kalas

Once we got inside the game, we went to our seats which are located right on the 3rd base side about 33 rows off the field. We had a great view and could see everything. Hubby bought a 17-game plan, so hopefully I get to go to a lot of games this year. After we watched a few innings, we walked around and then had dinner at one of the restaurants in the park. We decided to eat at Harry The K’s. This restaurant is in a great location because when they seat you near the railing, you can watch the game as if you were in your seats. The ballpark serves a signature sandwich called, The Schmitter (after Phillies hall of famer, Mike Schmidt). We occasionally treat ourselves to this delicious sandwich and felt inclined to do so last night. Basically this sandwich has the following on a Kaiser roll: sliced steak, cheese, fried onions, grilled salami, tomatoes and “special sauce”. It is so different, but tastes so good!

Geof and I at Harry The K's

"The Schmitter"

After dinner, we saw that they had the 2008 World Series trophy on display to take pictures with. Geof was so excited, so we went over and got some photos of it. I cannot stress enough what a huge Phillies fan that Geof is. Seeing the trophy that close made his day. I love seeing how happy he gets over things like that.

The trophy

The wind started kicking up and we knew they were calling for thunderstorms, so we left a little early. The Phillies were destroying the Brewers, so it wasn’t a nail biter or anything like that. We made it back to the car a minute after it started to downpour. We laughed it off, came home, dried off, relaxed and went to bed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cute and preppy visor

I love this visor, but honestly wish they made one for the Phillies. I think this is so cute and love the whale that is embroidered on it. I may have to get one anyway as long as I don’t wear it to any Philly sporting events!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend recap

On Friday after work I stopped by Macy’s because I had some gift certificates that I needed to use before they expired. I found a cute pair of Michael Kors patent leather flats in fuchsia that were on clearance and got some goodies at Clinique (since it is bonus time). They had this new Redness Solutions Mineral Powder and I thought it worked pretty well, so I got that and a refill of the Bamboo Pink Long Last Glosswear that I love so much. That entitled me to my free bonus gift.

Friday night when I got home, our friend Cory came over and he, hubby and I went to the carnival that was being held in the next town over. I love this time of year! The flowers are in bloom, the birds are chirping and it’s great to get outdoors and do things like that. The strangest thing happened at the carnival though. Hubby and I went on The Gravitron and this older man (he must have been 60) came in and did a handstand as the ride started going. He was upside down the whole time. I could not stop laughing. We went on some more rides, ate some carnival food and headed home. My friend Kelly was out and about so Cory and I met up with her and her friends at Barnaby’s. I swear that place is like our Cheers. Some of Cory’s friends came up too and we had a nice time.

Creepy man that was upside down!

On Saturday, I taught my last skating class of the season. We had a great year and I’m already looking forward to going back in October. Skating wipes me out, so I came home and took a nap. Our friend Jessica came over and her, hubby and I went to get something to eat and then went for a treat at Rita’s. We came back to the house and Cory came over and we had a Rock Band marathon in the basement. It was a lot of fun! I think I may be working my way up to playing guitar on medium.

On Sunday, I had a hair appointment and went to get highlights and a cut. My stylist is an old friend and she really gives me a great deal. I appreciate that so much and really need to get into the salon more often. When I got back from my hair appointment, hubby and I had dinner reservations at Chima in the city. This restaurant is fantastic. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a Brazilian steakhouse where they serve you at least 10 different kinds of meat, poultry and seafood from Gaucho servers. They have a great salad bar, good drinks and an overall nice atmosphere. My favorite foods of the night were the filet mignon wrapped in bacon and the chicken. The mashed potato and polenta side dishes were delicious also.

Us at Chima

After dinner we stopped by to see my mom and then went home and relaxed. Our friend Jessica came back over and we had some girl time and sat on the couch and watched some television. It was a beautiful weekend in the weather department and had an overall great time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Highlights before and after

I was so overdue for highlights and finally got into the salon today to get them. Here are some before and after pictures. Please excuse the scary before pic (I can’t believe I’m even posting it). This is me keeping it real. I just woke up not too long before it and do not have makeup on in either pic (yikes!). It was kind of fun doing before and after pictures though, because now I can see just how dramatic the difference is.



Saturday, April 18, 2009

8 Things Tag

My sweet friend, Jill at Peeptoe Pumps and Pearls tagged me in a fun 8 things game. Jill is so nice and works with orphans from China. I give this lovely lady so much respect and you should definitely check out her blog.

8 Things I Am looking Forward to:

1. Having children someday.
2. Going to Florida on vacation with my mom.
3. Getting ahead financially.
4. The pool opening and spending lazy days there in the summer.
5. Going to Phillies games this summer with hubby, although it won’t be the same without Harry Kalas…R.I.P.
6. Going to dinner with hubby and two of my dear friends tomorrow.
7. Getting my hair highlighted tomorrow…finally!
8. Getting a manicure and pedicure this week.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Went to work.
2. Went to Olive Garden for lunch with friends from work
3. Learned some new things at work.
4. Read blogs.
5. Went to Macy’s after work.
6. Went to the carnival in our town.
7. Went to Barnaby’s to meet up with friends.
8. Went to bed very late.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Travel more. There are so many places I want to go and only so much time and money to do it all. I would love to go to the Greece and see the islands there, travel to Tahiti and go to wine country in California.
2. Be more assertive. Sometimes I say yes to things or commit myself to obligations that I really don’t want to do. I need to learn that it is okay to say no sometimes.
3. I wish that I was more crafty. I see so many talented bloggers with their Etsy shops and creative things that they make. I have never really been that artistic.
4. Drive stick shift. My dad tried to teach me when I was a teenager and it was a disaster.
5. Learn how to relax a little better. Sometimes I have trouble de-stressing and let things get the best of me.
6. Make time for old friends. There are some that I have re-connected with and we never seem to find the time to get together.
7. Stop picking at my nails. I used to always get tips and have gone back to natural and when they start to peel, I can’t leave them alone.
8. Get a new house. We are quickly outgrowing the one that we live in now.

8 Shows I Watch:

1. Gossip Girl
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Grey’s Anatomy
4. American Idol
5. Harper’s Islands
6. Tough Love
7. Celebrity Apprentice

I now tag anyone that wants to play!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chase is 2 today

I cannot believe that my little puppy (that’s how I will always see him) is 2 today! I know he’s a dog and not a person, but he is part of our family. I remember when we brought him home in June of 2007 and he was just over 8 weeks old. He was a tiny 3 pounds and oh so adorable. He has grown into a dog and is the sweetest most loving little guy you would ever want to meet.

We celebrated his birthday with Mandy and got each of them a burger shot (basically a mini burger) from Burger King. We rarely give them people food, so they were in heaven with that little treat.

1st night we got Chase

The birthday boy with hubby. I don't think he likes the hat...oops!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kristin Pearce Designs & Sephora sale

The lovely and talented Kristin Pearce at Summer in Newport had a sale (which is still going on) for one of the beautiful pieces in her jewelry collection. I decided to take advantage and treat myself to a new necklace that would be perfect for spring/summer. The box arrived the other day and the pictures do not do this item justice. It is a triple stand of freshwater pearls with a sterling silver starfish. It is so classy and elegant. I had to share this item and let you know how great Kristin is.

I also wanted to pass along a discount I just got from Sephora. They don’t have sales like this too often, so it would be great to take advantage while it lasts. They’re currently having 15% off everything from 4/15-4/21. The promo code to enter at checkout is BD2T9CB5. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hubby started a blog

I am very excited to say that after much going back and forth, Geof has decided to start his own blog. I am constantly talking about the blog community and how wonderful and supportive it is. I think he felt left out and finally decided to join in on the fun. He’s a great writer and I am excited that he has his own creative outlet now. Please pay him a visit at - I love the name! He got it from what he refers to his space in the basement. That is his domain and I cannot decorate or comment on it whatsoever. Feel free to leave him comments and follow him so he can feel part of the action too!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend & Easter recap

On Friday, hubby and I had to get our taxes done. We’ve been procrastinating big time this year and finally got around to it. We had a 6:00pm appointment with H&R Block, got right in and were out of there by 7:00pm. That is great service if I do say so myself. Our tax professional was a nice lady who has been doing taxes over 15 years. I felt really comfortable with her and we will be going back to her next year. After taxes, we stopped at the pet store and they had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy that looked just like Chase. We had to play with him. Two dogs are all we can handle, so I don’t know why I even tempt myself. I also promised myself that after all of the negative press, I will never get another puppy from a pet store since most of them, if not all, come from puppy mills.

After we finished filing our taxes, we were off to dinner. We wanted to try a new place because we get sick of the same thing all the time, so we went to a restaurant called The Newtown Grill. It was honestly one of the best meals I have had in a long time and we had an excellent waiter. The restaurant is really nice, has a great atmosphere and we really enjoyed ourselves. For an appetizer we had cheese steak spring rolls and for dinner I had gorgonzola gnocchi and hubby had an aged New York strip steak with mashed potatoes. I also had a really great glass of Chardonnay from Pine & Post. I’m going to have to look for it next time I go to the wine store. After dinner, we went to the movies to see I Love You, Man. It was so funny and had me laughing out loud. I think Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are hysterical!

On Saturday, I taught skating and it went well. Now that the show is over, it is smooth sailing. I only have one week left and then I am on break until we start up next fall. One of the mothers of my students was so sweet and brought me a pot of gerbera daisies. I love them and think they’re so pretty. After skating, I came home and relaxed with hubby and the dogs. He made Fiesta Turkey Mini Tostadas out of The Biggest Loser Cookbook. It was delicious and really healthy. We watched The House Bunny, which I thought was cute and hubby thought was a “paint-by-numbers” teen comedy. We also played some Rock Band 2 and had an overall nice and relaxing night at home.

On Sunday, my mom gave hubby and me an Easter basket full of goodies. She orders homemade eggs from a lady that she goes to church with. They come with either butter cream or peanut butter filling and I look forward to them all year. After a quick sugar rush, we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for Easter, watched the kids have an egg hunt and had a great dinner full of ham, turkey, green bean casserole, stuffing, pineapple casserole, salad, corn, rolls, etc. After being fully stuffed we called it a day and I am home now relaxing with hubby and the dogs.

Our Easter basket

Me with 2 of my cousins. They're 2 of 3 of the triplets! 2 girls and 1 boy. I love these kids.

My baby cousin, Avery

The happy couple!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring entertaining

I found these cute and adorable plates and glasses while browsing the South Moon Under website. I like the idea of changing things up a bit when the seasons change. It is an opportunity for your personal style to shine through when entertaining guests.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pet peeve of the week

I’m annoyed this week about people that cannot park or refuse to park between the lines. I can’t stand it! It seems that everywhere I go lately, there are at least 2-3 cars parked this way next to an empty spot making it impossible for me to park there.

This pic is from last night. The car next to this car is parked the same way because they had no choice. It drives me nuts!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring jackets

With the new season upon us, it was only fitting that I get a new spring jacket (or two ;). The Gap had some great sales along with a coupon a few weeks ago and I ordered two jackets and love them.

Belted Trench in Mineral Green
This is such a nice shade of green and very neutral. I can wear it with a ton of outfits.

Lined Mac Jacket in Motorcross Khaki
Comfortable and classic.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chase & Mandy's day at the groomer

Yesterday, hubby dropped Chase & Mandy off at Poochies our new grooming salon. This is the first time we have gone to them because we heard they do a great job. I got home last night and have never seen the dogs look better, cleaner or cuter. They each had ribbons on their ears and collars. Blue for Chase and pink for Mandy! They really looked adorable.

I thought I would share some before and after pictures:

Mandy before

Mandy after

Chase before

Chase after